A Caribbean cruise that calls on Barbados actually ventures a little outside the Caribbean. Lying east of the rest of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is technically in the Atlantic. In fact, there’s not much but water between Barbados and Western Africa; more on that in a moment.
Your ship will sail up to the island’s southeastern shore, where the capital of Bridgetown is flanked by stretches of white sand beach. It’s tempting to spend the day relaxing on the sand, enjoying a swim and a lunch buffet, and many visitors do just that. For something a little more adventurous, hop on a catamaran and sail to Turtle Bay, where the wild sea turtles make their nests along the beach. You can swim and snorkel in the bay alongside some of these friendly creatures.
If you venture beyond the beaches, you’ll find lots of interesting things to see and do inland. Sugar cane was once the foundation of the Barbadian economy, and while all that remains of many plantations are some atmospheric ruins, you can tour the Sunbury Plantation House. Every room of the house, which was built in 1650, is beautifully restored and filled with antiques from the plantation era. The staff will teach you to make classic rum punch, too.
Barbadian sugar cane is used to make delicious rums, and distilleries are located around the island. The most famous is Mount Gay, the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery, where you can tour and taste the distinctive, highly rated rums made there for more than 300 years.
Right in the middle of Barbados, Harrison’s Cave offers a look beneath the island’s beautiful surface. Water dripping through limestone has formed a spectacular array of stalactites and stalagmites in a series of caverns you can travel through on a tram.
You can also venture to the east side of the island and the beautiful, rugged Scotland District. Here, waves from the huge stretch of ocean between Africa and Barbados crash against the cliffs and shore. The Scotland District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it’s actually the highest part of an ancient, elongated mountain range that lies mostly underwater, extending all the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad. If you visit, you’ll be standing on rock that’s more than 30 million years old.
To explore Caribbean itineraries that include Barbados and choose one for yourself, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.